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910th spouses fly over Niagara Falls

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

Military spouses from Youngstown Air Reserve Station pose for a photo on Oct. 4, 2019, on the flightline here. More than 50 military spouses had the opportunity to fly to Niagara Falls in a C-130H Hercules assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron. The objective of spouse flights is to offer military spouses a first-hand experience at what it is like to fly in a military aircraft while acknowledging their role in the overall mission of the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina Russo)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

A Military spouse from Youngstown Air Reserve Station takes a video of a C-130H Hercules engine props spinning in the air over Northeast Ohio, Oct. 4, 2019, during a 910th Airlift Wing spouse flight. Over 50 military spouses from the installation had the opportunity to fly to the falls in a C-130H assigned to the 757th AS. During the flight passengers were able to get a bird’s-eye view of the falls while the aft hatch of the aircraft was lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Noah J. Tancer)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

A Military spouse from Youngstown Air Reserve Station takes a video of a 757th Airlift Squadron loadmaster opening the aft hatch of a C-130H Hercules in the air over Niagara Falls, Oct. 4, 2019, during a 910th Airlift Wing spouse flight. Over 50 military spouses from the installation had the opportunity to fly to the falls in a C-130H assigned to the 757th AS. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Noah J. Tancer)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

A C-130H Hercules carrying military spouses from Youngstown Air Reserve Station and piloted by aircrew members assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron flies over Niagara Falls on Oct. 4, 2019. During the flight, passengers were able to get a bird’s-eye view of the falls while the aft hatch of the aircraft was lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina Russo)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

A view of Niagara Falls from the tail of an open C-130H Hercules, Oct. 5, 2019, during a 910th Airlift Wing spouse flight. Over 50 military spouses from Youngstown Air Reserve Station had the opportunity to fly to the falls in a C-130H Hercules assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron. During the flight passengers were able to get a bird’s-eye view of the falls while the aft hatch of the aircraft was lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mike Harris)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

Maj. Brian Hodor and Lt. Col. Drew Tancer, pilots assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron, fly a C-130H Hercules over Niagara Falls on Oct. 4, 2019. The aircraft was carrying 29 military spouses from Youngstown Air Reserve Station for the spouse flight that was offered in conjunction with the 2019 Family Day weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina Russo)

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided two C-130H Hercules aircraft for spouse flights on Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

Capt. Matthew McKay, a 757th Airlift Squadron pilot, poses for a photo with his wife, Eiryn McKay, on the flightline at Youngstown Air Reserve Station on Oct. 4, 2019, after flying to Niagara Falls during a spouse flight. Over 50 military spouses from the installation had the opportunity to fly to the falls in a C-130H Hercules assigned to the 757th AS. During the flight, passengers were able to get a bird’s-eye view of the falls while the aft hatch of the aircraft was lowered. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christina Russo)

YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio --

Youngstown Air Reserve Station provided a spouse flight aboard two C-130H Hercules aircraft Oct. 4, 2019. Spouse flights are offered at the wing commander’s discretion to military spouses on an installation at different times throughout the year.

The objective of spouse flights is to offer military spouses a first-hand experience at what it is like to fly in a military aircraft while acknowledging their role in the overall mission. 

Col. Joe Janik, 910th Airlift Wing commander, gave military spouses at YARS the opportunity to fly aboard the C-130s, operated by the 757th Airlift Squadron, in recognition of the critical role families play in supporting the 910th AW mission.

For Lori Williams, wife of Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Williams, 910th AW command chief, this was her first time flying in a military aircraft.

 “I’m just excited to feel that rush of take-off and then get to fly over Niagara Falls,” said Lori Williams.

Spouses of the 910th's Reserve Citizen Airmen play a critical role, often behind the scenes, supporting their spouse during monthly unit training assemblies, annual tours and deployments.

“Sometimes you don’t really want the spotlight to be on yourself as a spouse,” said Lori Williams. “We want the spotlight to be on our Airman. I think everybody would say that if you asked them. We’re behind the scenes, and that’s where we like to be as the support crew.”

Katie Marquardt, wife of Chief Master Sgt. Brian Marquardt, 910th Medical Squadron superintendent, values her role as a military spouse.

“It’s hard, but it’s amazing,” said Marquardt. “It’s very noble, and it makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you are doing your part for the military by supporting them.”

Eiryn McKay, wife of Capt. Matthew McKay, a pilot assigned to the 757th Airlift Squadron, got to experience her first time flying in a military aircraft while her husband piloted the other C-130H Hercules assigned to the mission. Her husband’s service to his country means her commitment and dedication to supporting his career is vital to the success of the wing’s mission.

“It’s exciting,” said Eiryn McKay. “Most of it is pride and excitement. Sometimes it’s difficult but it is rewarding and all worth it in the end.”

During the flight, passengers were given the opportunity to unbuckle their seat belts and walk around the aircraft to take photos. They were able to explore the cargo area and the flight deck where the pilots, navigator and flight engineer sit.

After being instructed by aircrew members, passengers returned to their seats and fastened their seat belts. Aircrew members harnessed up, tethered in and proceeded to lower the ramp of the aircraft. Once lowered, passengers were able to experience a bird’s-eye view of Niagara Falls.   

Over 50 spouses from the installation took part in the spouse flights which ran in conjunction with the 2019 Family Day weekend, here.